It Shall Not Approach You – Psalm 91:7

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When I was 18, Goliath saved my life. No, not the giant that David slew. Goliath was my yellow lab.

We were going for a walk in a field when I saw a black dog in the distance approaching us – very quickly. “Oh, look, Goliath,” I smiled. “He wants to play.” But as the dog drew nearer, I heard vicious snarls. His bared teeth came into view.

It all happened so fast. As the crazed animal was about to launch at me, I grabbed my head and turned away, shouting, “Goliath!” I heard a split-second flurry of gnarling, a yelp, and then silence. When I turned around, Goliath defiantly stood before me as we watched the black dog run away.

My Defense

Goliath was my defense. He would not let the beast approach me. God promises He will do the same for us and far more in Psalm 91:7.

“A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it [terror, war, the deadly plague] shall not approach you.”

Never before had I seen the fierce side of my happy-go-lucky lab. How much more intense is the ferocity of our Heavenly Father when danger approaches one of His beloved children?

The Earth Shakes

Psalm 18 records such an incident in David’s life. He wrote in verse 4, “The cords of death encompassed me, And the torrents of ungodliness terrified me.” As COVID ravages our loved ones and voices of liberty are squelched by those who gladly exchange freedom for “safety,” can anyone relate?

David continued, “In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.

Then the earth shook and quaked; And the foundations of the mountains were trembling And were shaken, because He was angry.

God – who built ferocious protective instincts into the mother bear – made the earth shake and quake as the mountains trembled at his anger.

God stormed to the rescue of His beloved with the dread of a fire-breathing dragon. “Smoke went up out of His nostrils, And fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.

What Prompted God’s Response?

Why did God’s wrath shake and ignite the earth? Because a man who loved God with all his heart cried out to Him. David could have cried to his generals and captains, “Why aren’t you protecting me?” He could have called to his physician, “Give me a tranquilizer for all this stress!” He could have cried to his counselor, “Do something to help me cope with all this trauma!”

But no – David cried to God. How great is our Father’s delight when we bypass worldly help and resources and go first to the Fountain of Life! He comes to our rescue and can work within any resources to deliver us.

But we go about it backward, calling upon government officials, doctors, and psychotherapists to solve our problems. Too often, prayer is a last resort. 

But not for David. He called upon God, his first resort. “The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows, and scattered them … He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.

Whom Do We Trust for Authority?

What has more authority in our lives? A doctor’s prediction? A politician’s promise? Or the promise of a faithful God? 

Whom do we call upon as our first resort? With thousands falling around us, will we run to the physicians, the president, or our Heavenly Father?

The believer who makes God his dwelling place – not an occasional visit – has set his love upon His Heavenly Father. He declares that God is his refuge and fortress. He trusts God to be his defense against all evil. Instead of crying out first to worldly help, he calls upon the Lord.

Want to see the earth shake, the mountains tremble, and coals kindled? Dwell in Him and His faithful Word. Declare His promised protection. Call upon Him, and see how God’s fierce love, more than the ferocity of my old pal, Goliath, will save you.

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